African art > Used objects, pulleys, boxes, loom, awale > Oracle Songye

Oracle Songye (N° 16942)

Among the divination tools used by the nganga, this anthropomorphic sculpture evoking the famous fetishes, here surmounted by two heads, was clinging by the central arch to slide back and forth in response to questions posed to ancestors. The impulse of the movement, aroused by the spirits, was supposed to make the consultant discover the source of his problems in order to bring a solution. The Luba, linked to the Songye through common ancestors, also used these types of objects as part of their divination ceremonies.
The Songye has produced a wide variety of fetishes and talismans boanga in order to protect against any kind of misfortune and to assure them in this way wealth, health and fertility. These sculptures were generally accessorized with metal and loaded with ritual ingredients (introduced into the summit horns or any other cavity designed for this purpose) which were supposed to increase the magical potential of the objects.
The ring here is draped in leather, held by thin brass heads. The fur and feather hairstyles give this object a particularly intriguing character. Satin dark brown patina.  

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Originex-collection belge
EthnySongye
Countryrdc ex zaire
Material(s)wood, metal, fourrure animale
Height cm30
Width14 cm
Weight0.45 Kg
Estimated dating1ère halfxx°

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